Lets Talk

Let’s Talk | My First Month Using Scribd

LetsTalk12:17

So, I finally decided to give the service Scribd another try. I think back in the day when it first started I did a free trial and canceled it within a day. At the time they did not have the books I was trying or enjoying so at the time it was not worth paying for. As of late I have been seeing more and more of it and I thought a great deal of time has passed it might be worth giving it another try. On top of seeing it talked about a lot I also was motived by the NEWTs Readathon taking place and I was going out of town for a few weeks. Traveling with huge books is not really fun or easy to do so I thought that giving this digital service a try might help.

I will say I did have reservation mixed with my hope of the improvement of the choices from this service. I continue to hear stories of people being limited without really being told why they were being limited. They make it kinda clear that you can have unlimited listening or reading, but then why are there limits? When do you hit these limits? There is no real answer that anyone has come across. I was just kinda worried I would be on vacation then all of a sudden in the middle of a book, I loose access to it. I was also worried that this service still didn’t really carry the books that I am currently reading and I would not be using it after a month because none of my current TBR are on there or the same availability as my library that I can use for free. Anyway, worries aside I gave it a try and here is my experience after using the service for one month.


-My Experience-

So, during this experiment of sorts I accessed both audiobook and ebooks. I enjoy both of these formats and they are great for traveling and being on the go. I am going to discuss my experience by talking about each format on their own.

First, let’s talk about the audiobooks. I first used Scribd mainly on my desktop computer I wanted to save the app and room on my phone for when I was traveling. Anyway, I really liked the interface for the audiobook on desktop. It was set up pretty cleanly and everything was clear without being walked through it, at least for me. Another major thing I was the look out for was the speed I would be able to access the audiobook at. I tend to listen to audiobooks at 2x or 3x speed, it depends on the narrator and pace of the reading to begin with. I also took advantage of the sleep timer a few times when I was listening at night incase I were to drift to bed.

The only thing I think that could make this interface better would be if there was a preview or label that popped up if you hovered over a control. I learned by playing along with a book I didn’t really care to much about keeping my place, but if I was in the middle of a book and hit the go back to start of chapter button when I really only wanted to go back 15 seconds or 30 seconds. Also, labeling how many seconds it jumps back or forward, it would be wonderful. So, I guess I would say there are two things that can be improved upon.

-The App-

On top of using the desktop interface, I also used the ISO app. I have to say, there were a few things that I liked and some things that I didn’t like.

I will start with the things I liked, first and foremost of which is that I can download an audiobook for on the go and not have to worry about data usage or being in a low service area interrupting my listening.  For me personally, it is a must if I am going to be listening to the book on go. Another notable thing I enjoy is the bookmark aspect, incase I lost my spot by hitting a button on accident. I am notorious for doing this, so whenever I pause or put an audiobook down, I always mark my spot.

When looking at the app as a whole instead of just at the listening screen, it looks like you have access to pretty much everything. You can look at recommended books, explore, and search for your next read. You can easily find your saved list with the bottom navigation and a nifty thing I noticed is that you can hit a button and only see the books on your saved list that you already downloaded to streamline listening.

With all things, there were some negatives with this app. The first and honestly the most annoying was the fact that it randomly paused multiple times. At first I thought it had to do with it being a new chapter and maybe it was a way to make sure the reader didn’t fall asleep or space out while listening. Sadly, this was not the case. It just stoped on me in the middle of  chapters. It was very annoying and I had to keep putting aside what I was doing to get my phone, open the app all the way and hit play again. This happened 3 times within the first chapter of American Gods… a book I had downloaded on my phones. So it was not due to lack of service or anything like that. The second thing that annoyed me was that on the app the max speed you can listen at is 2x speed… on the desktop you can listen at 3x speed, which is a speed I utilize often.  While I can make due with 2x speed, I am just confused as to why on one interface the max speed is different than the other.


-Items “Taken Out”-

Thunderhead ebook

Supermarket Audiobook

American Gods Audiobook

Endless Night Audiobook


-Final Thoughts-

At this point in time, I can easily see the value in a service like this. If someones library is not well stocked with the types of literature someones likes or if their library has a fee that is maybe more than this service it is a wonderful resource. Also, if owning audiobooks is not something you are interested in, this is a very good alternative to other popular audiobook sites, such as audible. The main thing you need to make sure of it that this service has the audiobooks you are interested in. Otherwise it is not worth it in the slightest.

While this service can make some improvements, some of which I stated in this post, for me at this point in time it is worth continuing to give it a go, but I still have questions/concerns. Mainly with what the true limits are on the accounts that some people run into. I have done some research and I have found that users can run into problems if they are signed into too many browsers or devices. I was kind of concerned to be signed into the app and desktop, but I have not run into any problems at this time.

I also don’t have a firm understanding of what saved is. Does that mean I “checked them out” or just for future reference? Does that mean I have access and it is reserved in a way? I have heard stories of other users saving ebooks or audiobooks, then go to listen to them and are told they are not available. So, it is kind of confusing.

Long post short, I am going to continue to give this service a try and see if it is a good alternative for me and my reading habits when supplementing my all of a sudden limited library digital resources.


Do you use Scribd? What do you love about it? Have you run into any problems using this service?

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Lets Talk

Let’s Talk | Why Reading Only Digital Books is Harder Than it Seems

LetsTalk12:17

Hi everyone, it has been some time before I have done a full Let’s Talk post. I haven’t really had anything I wanted to talk about until today, I am writing this May 22nd. I was walking around the bookstore looking for a book to peak my interest. Which, if you read my post Decluttering | Switching to Ebooks, is most likely VERY confusing and pretty much hypocritical.

In this post I talked about why I wanted to switch to ebooks, how I didn’t have room on my shelves and how I wanted to carry all of my books around with me on my kindle. I made the very bold statement of switching to ebooks and committing myself to it. That was before really researching it and realizing how difficult it could really be.

Now, for some there are medical reasons why this is not viable, there is also the price of the device, and a few other issues with this. But, in this post I really want to focus on one aspect that I found difficult/annoying and derailed me from my goal.

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So, like I said earlier in this post I was walking around a bookstore looking for a book to inspire me to pick it up. I received some great news and I wanted to treat myself in celebration. Now, I didn’t have a ton of money in my budget so I was looking strictly in the discount section of the store. I ended up finding a book I was really interested in called The Secret History of Twin Peaks, it appears to be a thriller/mystery told through documents and interviews. It kind of has a House of Leaves interview type feel, thankfully the pages aren’t as all over the place.

As you can see from the picture I posted earlier today, The book was under $7, I actually for it for under $5 because I have a membership. Now, as you know I was making the switch to ebooks so when I find a book I am interesting I look up the ebook cost, this is where once again I ran into my problem/issue.

When I first looked it up on amazon, where I get my ebooks for my kindle, at first I was excited to see what the hardback copy was going for.

I knew right off the bat that I was getting a very good deal. I then clicked on the book and then switched to kindle edition and was not as happy. 

The ebook was more expensive than the hardback edition in person as well as online. It was a whole $10 more… How can I justify spending $10 more on a book? I can buy a lot of food and other necessities with this money. How is it that something that is digital is more than something made of actual matter? This is the issue I have found myself running into time and time again. The digital editions of books costing more than physical and not by a few dollars.

Now I know, I can spend $0 on a book by using the library via ebook or even physical. While, I am lucky my library generally has books I am looking for. But, recently they have broken from the company they were working with and the choices have gone down. So, where I was able to get ebooks and audiobooks for nearly all of the books I wanted that is sadly, no longer the case.

So, I am left with spending the least amount of money. That means I am picking up a physical book. Thus, my ebook commitment has kinda gone out the window. On top of that, I have the problem of not wanting to keep my credit card bill high and less and less stores are carrying gift cards for amazon. So, there is another issue that is kinda related.

So, thanks for listening to my rant/possible discussion about ebooks.

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Have you ever run into this issue?

Do you know any other sites I can buy ebooks for my kindle?

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Reviews

REVIEW: The Radium Girls by Kate Moore

4

*I received this book through netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*

There are a few things I would like to start off with before I go into this book review. The first being is that this book really hit me hard. I had to set it down a few times because the emotional roller coaster it put me through. This book talks about not only extremely brave and courageous women, but also how they suffered. Secondly, I wanted to let you know that I received this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

In this book Kate Moore talks about workers rights and women’s rights as humans. She tells the story of those “lucky” women who were picked to paint clock faces 31409135with the shining element Radium. She writes this historical book with support from documentation, but presents it in a humanizing way. I have to say as someone who studied history, this is one of the few books that made me feel. Many history based texts are filled with facts to a point the reader is disconnected from the events. That is not the case for The Radium Girls, from almost the start I saw these people as humans, not a statistic. In the beginning of the book Moore states “no book existed that put the radium girls center stage and told the story from their perspective” (location 22, netgally PDF version), well I have to say she succeed, she gave them a voice and a spotlight.

I really liked how much thought was put into this book. Moore not just read about these women in the archives, but traveled and visited their families, their  loved ones. She took the time to know them outside of the documents. This can be seen throughout the book. I also enjoyed that this book was written more as a narrative, like we were following these women, not just reading about them. I honestly found it refreshing. I also liked how raw it was, Moore not only wanted you to connect with these women and give them a voice, but to also showed everything they went through. Earlier I said that Moore discusses workers rights and women’s rights and that is true. These women were told that this element was not harmful in the slightest, to the point they put their used brushes into their mouths. They were lied to, as humans and as workers. Now I also said that this book discussed women’s rights, and it does. During this time period, women were seen as less, they were not valued. Regardless, they came together to fight for what was right. It really blew me away how brave these women were.

Over all I decided to give this book a 4/5 stars. It was a great read and I highly suggest it to anyone who is interested in learning about how Radium was used, its effects, workers rights, and those who are interesting in reading about strong women. But, as I stated earlier, this book can really affect you. It goes into detail how being exposed to Radium effected these women, which I think is important, but might not be for everyone. This book is expected to be published on May 2nd, 2017.

4 STARS!

If you are interested in finding out more about The Radium Girls by Kate Moore or reading more reviews click here to go over to the goodreads page.


Book Information

Publisher: Sourcebooks

Publication Date: May 2nd, 2017

List Price:$26.99

ISBN:9781492649359

Pages: 480


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TBR

April TBR: 2017

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Aprils TBR is going to be a short one, mainly because it is going to be a very busy month and I do not want to overwhelm myself. But, the four books I have picked I am very much looking forward to. In fact, I am going to pick up The Radium Girls as soon as I finish writing this post!

Both The Radium Girl by Kate Moore and A Short History of the Russian Revolution by Groffrey Swain are books I received from Netgalley to review. Both are historical, nonfiction. The Radium Girls follows the stories of various women who painted clock faces with the element radium to make them illuminate before the heath risks were truly know. It explores their stories and the effect their work had on them as the years passed. I have started reading this one already and it is historical, but also personable. It does not take away the humanity of these women with endless facts and figures.

A Short History of the Russian Revolution is something I studied while at school and I continue to be interested in.  So, when I saw this on Netgalley I submitted a request right away and was thrilled to get approved.

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas and The Sign of Four by Arthur Conan Doyle I have gotten myself. Both are books I have very much wanted to get to. I read A Court of Thorns and Roses when it first came out and enjoyed it, but sadly I have not gotten to the second book in the series, I plan to correct that before the next book comes out. Fingers crossed I succeed!

On a more classic note I recently have been on a Sherlock Holmes binge and I am reading all of the stories and short stories in publication order and The Sign of Four is next in line. I have to say I was expecting the writing to be dull and difficult, but it read very modern. I have been devouring the stories.


What are you reading this month?

 

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Lists & Recommendations

Bookish Apps I Use


175x175bbLeio – This app tracks amount of time you spend reading. You track your reading time on a specific book. With the free version you can only track one book at a time. With this app you can scan the ISBN code or you can type your information manually. When you are ready to start reading hit “Read” and it begins to track. Leio predicts how long it will take you to finish a book and tells you your reading speed. It also monitors your reading streak (days in a row), longest book read, most pages read in one sitting, longest reading session. This year I was curious as to how much time I actually spent reading not just the number of books. So this little app is a great help.

You can find more information here:

http://leio.co/?i=1


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Libib – This app lets you create lists of books, movies, video games, and music. I use this to organize my TBR pile. This way when I am getting close to finishing a book I don’t have to search my bookshelf for my next read. I can just open the app and scroll through my list. You can also scare the lists with your friends and follow other people.

You can check out my TBR pile here:

https://bookishluna.libib.com/


goodreads

Goodreads – I use goodreads to update reading and track the number of books I have read. I also use it to see reviews when I go to the bookstore and I am browsing and find a book that interests me, but I am not sure if I want to commit. Another fun bonus is seeing what others are reading. I update this very often, more so than my instagram profile.

You can find my most recent reads here:

https://www.goodreads.com/BookishLuna


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Overdrive – I use this cool little app to rent audiobook and ebooks from my local library. It is great for on the go and you find yourself without a book on hand. I can pull something up on my phone free of charge.

You can find more information here:

https://www.overdrive.com


I also use the Kindle, Audible, and Nook apps. Between nook and kindle apps I can shop for the cheaper option for a particular book I want to read. I also have an audible subscription. I love listening to books while I drive or clean. It is wonderful when you can continue to read a book you really enjoy even if you have some chores to do or places to go.

Well I hope you enjoyed learning about my favorite bookish apps.

What is your favorite bookish app?